Asvel Villeurbanne was crowned champion in the first stage of 2022 ANGT Tournament, held in Belgrade, Serbia. The French powerhouse beat host team Red Star Belgrade in a close final game, bringing unmatchable athleticism and energy, especially on the defensive end – just 25 points in the 2nd half for Red Star. Tofas Bursa got the 3rd place beating Next Generation Team Belgrade, after having started the competition on a 0-8 record in their ANGT history.
Who was the best player?
Luka Drca: Usually the player who scores the most points is the best player of the tournament. However, it wasn’t the case for this tournament. Since Asvel won, it was easy to say that Killian Malwaya was the MVP. This kid has all the tools to become an NBA player one day: athleticism and explosiveness are on point. Shooting is looking good, just needs to be more consistent. In case Red Star won, my pick for the best player (not the most intriguing one) would have been Luka Vudragovic. He showed significant improvements over the past years.
Eugenio Agostinelli: The tournament wasn’t that loaded of talent, so Killian Malwaya is almost a no-brainer. He outplayed every man in front of him, with his burst and impressive leaping ability. Can finish above length in traffic almost every time. Without being that good passer, looks like he can create something out of nowhere in any play. Long-distance productivity isn’t consistent yet, but should be just matter of time, since shooting form looks ok. His one-handed alley-oop in the final game was definitely his statement play in the tournament.
Who came to the front after this stage?
Luka: Bogoljub Markovic from Mega is my pick. He showed up out of nowhere with really long body, solid athleticism and pretty good feeling for the game. Not afraid of the contact, even though his body still needs to develop. Lot of room for the improvement for this talented Serbian. Secondly, the player who has kept improving from year to year is definitely Zaccharie Risacher. Above average athlete, has great frame and is light on his feet. Really fluid in everything he does.
Eugenio: In his first ANGT appearance, Samet Yigitoglu was the second-best big man after Ege Demir. The Turkish center moves well at 7’0, and has some old-school moves low post. Can’t put his feet outside the paint, but has good feel and knows where to stand to get fed close to the rim, or to grab a board (led the rebounds list with 11.8). I’d like to mention also Ilija Milijasevic. The Serbian combo had a great impact as the primary initiator of the Next Generation Team. He’s a shifty guard with a great 3P shot (40% from distance), and his leadership was key for Spanoulis’ team.
Which were the underclassmen that impressed you the most?
Luka: I would have to say that Zaccharie Risacher is someone that keeps impressing me over the years with his improvements. Secondly, Nikola Topic is the player who overgrown this junior basketball already, and is ready for pro level due to his quick thinking, basketball IQ and offensive talent. Demir Dogan is the youngest player on this tournament that hasn’t played much, but whenever on the court you were able to notice his talent.
Eugenio: Nikola Topic struggled a lot in the final game against ASVEL's disruptive motor and physicality, but still had a really good tournament overall. The 2005 local product oozes talent and leadership, controlling the pace of the game and running every play. He loves to drive and finish with smooth floaters, rather than shooting the ball from long range. And as you said, basketball IQ is above average for his age. Together with Sergio De Larrea, the Spanish guard Lucas Marí had a big impact filling the statsheet in every area. His passing skills and reads are elite, and I really liked his ability to find the open man while driving. One more player that needs to be mentioned is Viktor Mikic. Partizan had a bad tournament, but the 2005 big man had a solid showing: strong presence under the glass, good touch from inside the paint. 
Killian Malwaya (MVP), Luka Vudragovic, Sergio De Larrea, Ege Demir, Luka Krajnovic. What’s your take on the All-Tournament Team?
Luka: Well-deserved and easy to pick. Besides those players, there are a few more that could be considered All-Tournament team, if their teams were winning more games (Rokas Jocys from Lietkabelis, and Asim Djulovic from Mega).
Eugenio: Jocys was the best scorer of the tournament, but it’s tough to take somebody out from this team. Krajnovic was a key part of Next Generation Team, together with Milijasevic, and one between De Larrea and Marí had to make the All-Tournament team. Overall, I agree with you that those 5 names were pretty easy to choose. They all stood out in the competition.